Round Robin Game 2 Preview: Flyers-Capitals
If the Flyers wanted to find a way to move up from the fourth seed to the first seed, they were very likely going to need to sweep competition in the Round Robin. They got off to a good start with a 4-1 win over Boston on Sunday.
Heading into the second game of the three-game Round Robin on Thursday afternoon against the Washington Capitals, the Flyers are very much in control of their own destiny in many ways. Boston lost again on Wednesday to Tampa Bay, 3-2. If the Flyers can get a point against Washington, they will officially move up at least one seed and finish no lower than the third-seed in the playoffs. If they win in regulation, they can lock up a top-two seed and set up a game where the winner takes the top seed when they play again on Saturday.
But first, they have to handle the Capitals, who bring offensive firepower, solid defense and an experienced netminder to this tournament.
Game time is 4 p.m.
|Philadelphia Flyers||GP||G||A||P||Washington Capitals||GP||G||A||P|
|Michael Raffl||1||1||1||2||Richard Panik||1||1||0||1|
|Phil Myers||1||1||0||1||Evgeny Kuznetsov||1||1||0||1|
|Scott Laughton||1||1||0||1||Dmitry Orlov||1||0||1||1|
|Nate Thompson||1||1||0||1||Nicklas Backstrom||1||0||1||1|
|Travis Sanheim||1||0||1||1||Lars Eller||1||0||1||1|
|Player to Watch|
|28 Claude Giroux||8 Alex Ovechkin|
|Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, +1||Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, E|
|Projected Goalie Matchup|
|37 Brian Elliott||70 Braden Holtby|
|0 GP, 0-0-0, -.-- GAA, .--- SV%||1 GP, 0-0-1, 1.85 GAA, .929 SV%|
We already knew Brian Elliott was going to get a start at some point during the Round Robin. Given the potential magnitude of Saturday's game against Tampa, this would be the time to get Elliott into a game. Elliott has faced the Capitals twice this season, winning both starts.
Braden Holtby gets back between the pipes for the Capitals on Thursday. The veteran goalie for the Capitals made 26 saves on 28 shots in a shootout loss to the Lightning on Monday.
Flyers Projected Lineup
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|28 Claude Giroux||14 Sean Couturier||93 Jake Voracek|
|21 Scott Laughton||13 Kevin Hayes||11 Travis Konecny|
|49 Joel Farabee||38 Derek Grant||62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel|
|25 James van Riemsdyk||44 Nate Thompson||18 Tyler Pitlick|
|9 Ivan Provorov||15 Matt Niskanen|
|6 Travis Sanheim||5 Phil Myers|
|8 Robert Hagg||61 Justin Braun|
|37 Brian Elliott||79 Carter Hart|
Capitals Projected Lineup
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|8 Alex Ovechkin||92 Evgeny Kuznetsov||43 Tom Wilson|
|13 Jakub Vrana||19 Nicklas Backstrom||77 T.J. Oshie|
|62 Carl Hagelin||72 Travis Boyd||17 Ilya Kovalchuk|
|14 Richard Panik||26 Nic Dowd||21 Garnet Hathaway|
|4 Brenden Dillon||9 Dmitry Orlov|
|6 Michal Kempny||33 Radko Gudas|
|34 Jonas Siegenthaler||3 Nick Jensen|
|70 Braden Holtby||41 Vitek Vanecek|
- Flyers: James van Riemsdyk and Connor Bunnaman rotated spots on the fourth line in practice on Wednesday. Alain Vigneault said he is expecting more out of van Riemsdyk, and also eluded to other changes at forward for Thursday. That leaves the possibility that van Riemsdyk may not play as a coach's decision, but it would be more likely that the demotion to the fourth line is more of the message being sent.
- Capitals: Lars Eller will miss Thursday's game, as he has returned home for the birth of his second child. Defenseman John Carlson, who left early in the exhibition and missed the first Round Robin game, is a game-time decision for Thursday.
- Power Play: Flyers (T-18th), Capitals (T-7th)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-1st), Capitals (T-23rd)
- Recent History vs. Capitals
- Nov. 13, 2019 - Capitals 2, Flyers 1 (F/SO) (at PHI)
- Jan. 8, 2020 - Flyers 3, Capitals 2 (at PHI)
- Feb. 8, 2020 - Flyers 7, Capitals 2 (at WSH)
- March 4, 2020 - Flyers 5, Capitals 2 (at WSH)
- Flyers Leaders vs. Capitals
- Claude Giroux - 45 GP, 22 G, 23 A, 45 P
- Sean Couturier - 33 GP, 8 G, 15 A, 23 P
- Jake Voracek - 39 GP, 15 G, 19 A, 34 P
- Brian Elliott - 19 GP, 10-7-0, 3.09 GAA, .895 SV%
Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia/NBCSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.